The number of on-demand music streams grew by 31.6% year-over-year during the first half of 2019, according to Nielsen’s latest look at the industry [download page]. For the first time, music video streams (+39.6%) have grown at a faster rate than music audio streams (+27.8%).
Overall, there were 507.7 billion on-demand music streams during the first half of the year. The 31.6% growth on a year-over-year basis has dropped from last years’ 42% growth but is much more buoyant than the very slight increase video streaming encountered in 2017.
That being said, streaming audio still accounts for about two-thirds of the total streams. This popularity of streaming audio has also helped the music streaming ad market reach a respectable $1.1 billion in 2019.
Total Music Consumption Continues to Grow
Total music consumption is up again this year, growing 15.7% year-over-year, keeping music consumption afloat as album sales continue to decline.
Digital album sales dropped 24.4% year-over-year. Physical album sales were also down (-15.1%) but not quite to the same degree as a year earlier.
Fueled by consumer interest and growing availability, vinyl LP sales rose 9.6% (nearly 10 percentage points less than the same time last year) to reach 7.7 million, representing about one-quarter of all physical album sales. Record Store Day 2019 (April 20-26) saw record-high sales (pun intended) for independent retailers, accounting for 827,000 of total vinyl album sales in the first half of the year.
Rock Fuels Album Sales; R&B/Hip-Hop Powers Streaming
In its analysis of leading genres, Nielsen reveals that:
- Rock accounted for a leading 43.6% of physical album sales and 32.6% of digital album sales; while
- R&B/Hip-Hop represented a leading 29.6% share of on-demand streams (down from 36.4% last year), topping the genres for both audio (29.8% share) and video (29.1%) streams.
Last year, Latin music was the second-largest genre for on-demand video streams. In the first half of this year, Pop takes over this position, accounting for 15.1% of on-demand video streams compared to 13.3% by Latin music.
Finally, Lil Nas X’s hit ‘Old Town Road’ reigned supreme across digital streaming formats. Originally released on the TikTok app the song was #1 in total on-demand streams (1.3 billion), leading in both on-demand audio streams (596.1 million) and on-demand video streams (741.9 million) for the first half of this year.
The full report, which contains many more mid-year charts, can be downloaded here.